The goal of this course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of games and play as ‘lenses’ that they can use to investigate contemporary culture and forms of media use. It departs from the ‘ludification of culture’ hypothesis, which holds that play has become an inextricable element of our postmodern culture and postfordist (creative) economies, and aims to a) enable students to conceptualize the ‘player experience’ as well as interpret games as models of the cultures they emerge from. The notion of ‘players’ thereby will be used in a broader sense that merely ‘gamers’ but incorporates e.g. also media fandom as play or playful forms of social media activity.|
Moreover, the course introduces two methods, auto-ethnography and netnography, that are particularly suited to studying the ludification of culture. These methods are intended to expand the existing methodological ‘toolbox’ and in the course we will discuss how to productively combine them e.g. with textual analysis, discourse analysis, media archaeology or ethnography. It is not mandatory to use them for the final paper.
As the course leverages both on play and on games as metaphors for investigating contemporary culture, it follows a two-part structure.|
Part I (session 1-3) focuses on play, conceptualizing the player experience and studying (meta-)playing practices as well as communities, in which these activities take place. Moreover, both methods will be introduced in this first part to enable those students, who wish to do so, to incorporate them properly into their final project.
Part II (session 5-7) shifts the focus to analyzing games as ‘texts’ that reflect contemporary socio-cultural parameters (norms, assumptions, beliefs etc.). This includes, in the final session, a close look at the functions of games in transmedia contexts.
Both parts are separated by the symposium in week 4, during which students will pitch their ideas and receive further feedback on how to operationalize them.
The themed sessions include critical discussions of the mandatory course literature (1-2 texts per week), research exercises in small groups including the structured presentation of the findings (as well as one or two analytical design exercises), lecture segments that introduce theoretical frameworks and perspectives as well as case studies.
The course incorporates some design research-oriented assignments, which combine theoretical issues and practical rationales. Moreover, the topics and critical discussions address issues (e.g. player communities, video games as cultural vehicles, transmedia aesthetics) that are relevant for the work field and methods (e.g. netnography) that are practically valuable.
|Er moet voldaan zijn aan de cursus:|
|- Mastercursussen Geesteswetenschappen (||200501100||)|
Voorkennis kan worden opgedaan met
|General knowledge of and insight in debates and practices in the field of media studies.|
Bronnen van zelfstudie
|Any BA course with a cultural, sociological, or philosophical focus on media and/or communication.|
|- Frissen, V., Lammes, S., Lange, M. de, de Mul, J., & Raessens, J. (eds.) 2015. Playful Identities. The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. www.oapen.org/download?type=document&docid=524070 |
- Wolf, Mark J.P. & Bernard Perron (eds.). 2014. The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies. London: Routledge.
- Fernández-Vara, Clara. 2014. Introduction to Game Analysis. London: Routledge.
- Lankoski, Petri & Bjork, Staffan (eds.). 2014. Game Research Method
|Verplicht materiaal-Aanbevolen materiaal|
|Deterding, S., & Walz, S. P. (Eds.). (2014). The Gameful World. Approaches, Issues, Applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.|
AlgemeenEvery meeting is structured according to a theme and the pertaining discourses, one or more practical cases, compulsory readings, assignments, individual student presentations, methodological advice and suggestions for further reading.
Voorbereiding bijeenkomstenTo prepare for seminar sessions, students need to read the mandatory course literature and be prepared to discuss it and apply it to selected cases. In one session, students will give a work-in-progress presentation of their research project and prepare visual material to illustrate it.
Bijdrage aan groepswerkStudents will conduct research exercises in groups of 2-3 and either present and discuss the results in class or briefly summarize them in writing. Moreover, students are expected to actively provide feedback on their peers' projects.
BeoordelingStudents are graded on their ability to 1) gain specialized knowledge of and insight into game, play, and media studies, 2) independently identify, analyse, and criticize relevant research problems that relate to current debates in both media theory and media practice, and 3) present their findings to an audience composed of specialists as well as non-specialists in written and oral forms of academic expression.
DeadlinesTo be announced.